Economy, Domestic Economy

Trade With Turkey Declines Following PTA

Trade With Turkey Declines Following PTATrade With Turkey Declines Following PTA

Trade between Iran and Turkey stood slightly above $3.5 billion during the four months since a preferential trade agreement (PTA) came into effect in January 2015, which indicates a 17% decline compared with the similar period in 2014, Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) reported.

Exports to Turkey reached nearly $2.4 billion over the period to register a 30% drop compared to the similar period a year ago. However imports amounted to about $1.1 billion, recording a 32% increase, according to the report.

The report also indicates that Iran was Turkey’s 13th export destination, accounting for 2.3% of the country’s total exports during the four-month period. Iran was also the 11th biggest exporter to Turkey, accounting for 3.4% of the country’s total imports over the same duration.

Imports from Turkey totaled $3.8 billion in 2014, registering a 7% decline compared with 2013. Exports amounted to more than $9.8 billion in 2014, registering a 6% decrease compared with 2013 when Turkey imported $10.4 worth of different commodities from Iran.

The preferential trade agreement to reduce tariff barriers between Iran and Turkey was signed during Turkey’s current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s (who was then Turkish prime minister) visit to Tehran back in January 2104 after negotiations that lasted 10 years. The two countries initially set an objective to boost their bilateral trade to $30 billion by the end of 2015 from $14.6 billion in 2013. Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci later raised the target to $35 billion in an apparent sign of his growing optimism over the accord.

According to the agreement, 125 items of Iranian goods and 140 items of Turkish goods will be traded based on preferential tariffs. The PTA has been criticized by some Iranian economists who argue that the agreement is in favor of Turkey.